Differences unite children
Mirrabooka Primary School students Efraim Efraim Cung, Smith Patel, Esperance Nyiramugisha, Trisha Espartero and Rujina Yakoub. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

For these Mirrabooka Primary School students, it is their differences that bring them together.

Trisha Espartero, Esperance Nyiramugisha, Smit Patel, Rujina Yakoub and Efraim Cung all attend the school's intensive language centre, which assists culturally and linguistically diverse pupils to improve their English.

They are not only enthusiastic about learning a new language, they are also keen scholars of other cultures and countries.

Deputy principal Jo Burnett said the children were excited to meet a new student from a new part of the world and warmly welcomed all into their fold.

"Because we have such a diverse student population at the school, to them, this is normal," she said. "It's normal to have friends from all over the world. When we get a new student in they all rush over and are so interested in where this child comes from, what language they speak and love to share stories with them."

Mirrabooka Primary, like many others across WA, will be celebrating Harmony Day today. The school will hold an expo with international foods, sports and flags.

With 34 countries and more than 50 first languages represented in the student population, Ms Burnett said diversity was an accepted norm. "There is such awareness and tolerance here that I suspect other schools may not have, just because of the unique environment we have here," she said.

The West Australian

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